“Love is fulfilled among us when in this world we are like Jesus….” 1 John 4:17c (NIRV)
How did Jesus love? His love was a love with no strings attached. It didn’t matter the response of the individual or their worth, status or nationality. He loved everyone! His love was unconditional. In fact, there is nothing we can do to make God love us more and nothing we can do to make Him love us less. God loves because God is love! Jesus is the manifestation of His love for us!
The apostle John wrote,
“Love is fulfilled among us when in this world we are like Jesus.”
In 1 John 4:17c (NIRV) When I am like Jesus, I love like Jesus. It’s a love unlike human love. Human love says, “I love you because….” “I love you because you are pretty.” “I love you because you are rich.” “I love you because you are funny.” “I love you because you make me feel good.” The problem with that kind of love is what happens when you no longer feel good or they are no longer pretty or wealthy? The one thing you can count on in life is change! Age, circumstances, beauty and wealth can all change and will. If your love is based on those things that change, your love will change. It will fade.
Human love also says, “I love you if….” “I love you if you do this or that.” “I love you if you meet my needs.” “I love you if you love me how I want to be loved.” “I love you if you do the things I want to do.” Like “I love you because,” the “I love you if” kind of love falls short and leaves us empty and longing for a love that lasts.
The kind of love we need is God’s love, a love that chooses to place great value on the one loved whether it’s deserved or not. It’s an unconditional love that keeps giving 100%, regardless of receiving. It’s love with no strings attached!
We were created to be loved and to love. His love is fulfilled among us only when we are like Jesus. The part of that verse that I love is the hope and possibility that we can experience that kind of love “in this world.” Did you get that? Even in this fallen, hateful, world that has been corrupted by sin, we can experience the love of God, a love that truly fulfills us and transforms us from the inside out with the capacity to love like Jesus. How? When we experience God’s love for us in Christ and receive His love, we can love like Jesus. This is the heart of the gospel! Jesus told His followers,
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” John 13:34 (NLT)
I am like Jesus to the measure that I love like Jesus. For that to happen, I need Jesus in me. I can never produce that kind of love on my own. When I step into the freedom of loving with no strings attached, I am loving like Jesus. John makes that really practical when he says,
“… Let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them and show it by our actions.” 1 John 3:18 (TLB)
In what ways, can you show a love with no strings attached to someone this week?